Closing arguments in Vallejo kidnapping trial

The Associated Press
Tuesday May 01, 2001

VALLEJO — A jury began deliberating late Monday in the case against Curtis Dean Anderson, who is accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting an 8-year-old Vallejo girl. 

Prosecutor Donna Stashyn pointed a finger at Anderson, 40, and called him a “perverse predator” who tortured the third grader last August. 

“He took away her innocence and taught her some horrible things that an 8-year-old shouldn’t know,” Stashyn said. 

Anderson’s lawyer, Carl Spieckerman, asked jurors not to assume the young victim is telling the truth. 

“That person is simply a witness. She’s not a beautiful little girl who would not lie,” Spieckerman said during his closing argument. “Whether we like it or not, she lied to you.” 

Anderson faces kidnapping charges and 10 sex-related counts. If convicted, he could be sentenced to 250 years to life in prison. 

The Vallejo girl, whose name is not being used because of the nature of the crime, claimed Anderson kidnapped her on her way home from school, and kept her locked inside his car for two days while he repeatedly sexually assaulted her. She testified last week. 

Stashyn said it’s amazing the girl remembers as much as she does about the incident, because Anderson refused to feed her, forced her to drink alcohol and kept her awake all night. 

“Here she is with this stranger who’s threatening her,” Stashyn said. “Think about it through the eyes of an 8-year-old. She was terrified.” 

The girl testified that she managed to escape after 44 hours with Anderson by finding the keys to unlock the chains that bound her ankle to the inside of the car. She said she quickly flagged down a passing truck driver, who rescued her. 

Spieckerman pointed to a lack of evidence, including no fingerprints on any locks, keys or chains, and no fingerprints on the shot glass the girl said she was forced to use to drink wine, beer and root beer schnapps. 

“I hope the last three days of testimony have allowed you to open your minds and get past the outrage,” Spieckerman told the five women and seven men on the jury. 

But Stashyn said the girl had no reason to lie and called the defense’s accusations “absurd.” 

“The law’s not in his favor. The facts aren’t in his favor, so he’s blaming the victim,” she said. “He got caught because (the little girl) was stronger and smarter than he will ever be.” 

Anderson smiled broadly in response. 

Spieckerman told the judge during a break that Anderson had wanted to testify on his own behalf, but agreed not to on the attorney’s advice. 

He told jurors the prosecution had not proven its case and there was no reason for Anderson to testify. 

Spieckerman said he wants to raise enough doubts to get jurors to lessen the charges against Anderson and reduce his prison time. 

“It’s going to be a lot of years unless the jury doesn’t believe anything, which I kind of doubt,” Spieckerman said outside the court.